For Immediate Release
Tallahassee, FL — Yesterday, shielded by the signing of forty-four varied bills, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the most restrictive of Florida’s energy preemption bills to pass this legislative session, HB 919, into law. The law prohibits local decisions on energy sourcing, preempting those powers to the state legislature. The bill was part of a suite of energy preemption legislation that passed the legislature this session including HB 839, which was signed 6/16, and SB 896 which has not yet been presented to the Governor.
Part of a nationwide push by the oil and gas industry to preempt local government initiatives to move off fossil fuels, Florida’s bills are the most stringent to pass in any of the fourteen states with similar energy preemption legislation. While the Florida legislature has been slow to act on climate change, local governments have been on the frontlines of the crisis, forging boldly ahead with policies to move off destructive fossil fuels. With these bills now enshrined in Florida law, their toolbox for such policies will be highly limited.
In response, Food & Water Watch Senior Florida Organizer Brooke Errett issued the following statement:
“We are in the midst of a climate crisis, yet Governor DeSantis insists on choosing politics over Florida’s future. This year’s state legislative session has made history for its intentionally regressive climate laws, with elected officials arguing in committees that the suite of dangerous preemption bills now signed into law were necessary to protect the continued use of fracked gas in our state. Local governments and communities need every tool at their disposal to fight back the rising tide, yet instead receive dangerous preemption bills that do nothing to mitigate climate disaster and everything to pad fossil fuel executive pockets. Despite this year’s disheartening legislative session, grassroots communities will continue to rise up against fossil fuels, fighting for a clean energy future in Florida.”
Contact: Phoebe Galt, [email protected]